In the 1920s, groups of students from different North-American universities joined to simulate League of Nations, predecessor of the current United Nations. Such opportunities were created to show students the importance of learning peace, dialogue and cooperation in order to avoid war, as much as to defend their country’s interests. Ever since, Model United Nations started to become more popular and are nowadays one of the most important exercises of diplomacy at university level. Especially recognized in English-speaking countries, MUNs occur today all around the world, with very famous simulations in the United States, Russia, England, Korea, Turkey, Netherlands and so on.
A Model United Nations is a conference, usually lasting between three days and a week, where students from all over the world come together to step into the shoes of diplomats from all the UN member states in order to debate about topics concerning international relationships such as human rights, the environment, peace keeping operations, or the role of the children in armed conflicts, among many others.
The general structure of the United Nations is reproduced: the main organs and committees are represented, such as the Human Rights Council, the Security Council, the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Committee. Students assume the role of “Delegates”, representing a country in their own committee, and have to make speeches, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts and above all discuss and debate in a fully multicultural ambience, all in the interest of mobilizing international cooperation to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world. That is why delegates exchange and negotiate about their country’s position in order to write, vote and pass a final resolution, aiming at proposing solutions to the international stakes underlain by the topic.